The Business Of Ramadan: Religion And Capital Converge In The UAE

- Jun 21, 2018-

 

Anyone doing business in the Gulf knows that life takes on a different rhythm during the month of Ramadan. With millions of Muslims forgoing food and drink between sunrise and sunset, daily routines change, working hours shorten and thoughts turn to friends and family.

This is not without a cost. One 2011 market research report estimated the UAE alone lost $1.4 billion in GDP during the holy month due to the wind down.

But change is afoot in Dubai. In recent years laws have been relaxed around how companies can operate during the day, even allowing some hotels to serve food and alcohol. However, it's when the fasting is broken after sundown with the iftar meal that the big business moves are being made.